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South African Journal of Animal Science

On-line version ISSN 2221-4062
Print version ISSN 0375-1589


SANTANA NETO, J.A. et al. Ammonia levels on in vitro degradation of fibrous carbohydrates from buffel grass. S. Afr. j. anim. sci. [online]. 2019, vol.49, n.3, pp.585-597. ISSN 2221-4062.

This study was carried out to examine the degradation dynamics of neutral detergent fibre (NDF) and the profile of volatile fatty acids that originate from the fermentation of buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris, L.) with various levels of ammonia in the growth medium. The treatments consisted of six levels of ammonia in the growth medium (0, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 30 mg/dL), which were obtained by adding urea. These in vitro incubation times were evaluated in three replicates per time for 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 24, 36, 48, 72 and 96 hours. Rumen concentrations of acetate and propionate responded quadratically to the ammonia levels. The treatment with 15 mg/dL of ammonia nitrogen in the rumen fluid provided mean acetate and propionate contents of 57.6 mM and 23.1 mM, respectively. Urea addition elevated the degradation rate of potentially degradable fraction of NDF (pdNDF) from 2.5% to 20.1% in comparison with the treatment without urea and to a reduction in estimated discrete lag time from 0.34 to 2.31 hours. Urea supplementation increased the specific microorganism growth rate from 2.6% to 20.1%. At the end of the incubation trial, NDF degradation showed a quadratic response, with maximum value obtained at 17.76 mg/dL of ammonia in the rumen fluid. Urea improves the degradation dynamics of NDF from deferred buffel grass and increases the concentrations of acetate and propionate.

Keywords : Cenchrus ciliaris; degradation kinetics; non-protein nitrogen; urea.

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